A New Paradigm for the Earth’s Ecosystem: Anastassia Makarieva Speaks about the Biotic Pump in Florence

https://www.bioticregulation.ru/Everything began with the idea of Charles Darwin of “evolution by natural selection.” It was a dangerous idea according to Daniel Dennett, but there was nothing dangerous in it unless you misunderstood it. And we know how it was misunderstood by the various suprematists, racists, white-supremacists, and so on. But Darwin’s idea was simple and … Continue reading “A New Paradigm for the Earth’s Ecosystem: Anastassia Makarieva Speaks about the Biotic Pump in Florence”

Breaking News: Lone Genius Saves the World with his Invention

 Another lone scientist ready to save the worldWhen I stumbled into this article, I thought it was a joke. You know, the kind that goes, “Scientists find a solution to stop forest fires in the Amazon: all that’s needed is to cut the trees and turn it into a giant parking lot!” But no, it … Continue reading “Breaking News: Lone Genius Saves the World with his Invention”

The Power of the Biosphere: Anastassia Makarieva Speaks about the Biotic Pump in Florence

https://www.bioticregulation.ru/Everything began with the idea of Charles Darwin of “evolution by natural selection.” It was a dangerous idea according to Daniel Dennett, but there was nothing dangerous in it unless you misunderstood it. And we know how it was misunderstood by the various suprematists, racists, white-supremacists, and so on. But Darwin’s idea was simple and … Continue reading “The Power of the Biosphere: Anastassia Makarieva Speaks about the Biotic Pump in Florence”

Another Lone Genius Saves the World with his Invention: How Naive can People be?

 Another lone scientist ready to save the worldWhen I stumbled into this article, I thought this was a joke, you know, the kind that goes, “Scientists find a solution to stop forest fires in the Amazon: all that’s needed is to cut the trees and make it a giant parking lot!” But no, it was … Continue reading “Another Lone Genius Saves the World with his Invention: How Naive can People be?”

Notes on Gaian Theology: Is the Goddess a Superorganism?

One of the avatars of the Goddess. The beauty of the Gaian theology is that, unlike for ordinary theology, you don’t have to rely only on second-hand reports about the subject of your studies Gaia exists, and she is all around us. Then, the question is: what or who is She? As you know, the modern idea … Continue reading “Notes on Gaian Theology: Is the Goddess a Superorganism?”

Why I went underground and how I am enjoying my new subterranean life

Here is one of the windows of my new home. No, not the big one. Look at where my wife, Grazia, is pointing. Yes, that one!This summer in Florence we already had two vicious heat waves. As I am writing, we are in the middle of the third one, even more vicious. It has been, … Continue reading “Why I went underground and how I am enjoying my new subterranean life”

The New Trail of Tears: How climate change is forcing the relocation of species, including our own

Guest post by Brian Stewart. Brian Stewart is a Professor of Physics at Wesleyan University who specializes in the dynamics of small molecular systems. For twelve years, he has delivered an annual “Earth Week Rant” that documents the complex web of environmental issues we have created and urges action. Reproduced from “Public Seminars” by permission … Continue reading “The New Trail of Tears: How climate change is forcing the relocation of species, including our own”

What’s Happening in Italy? The Fatal Flaw of Democracy

Richard Gere on the stranded NGO ship “Open Arms” off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy. A humanitarian intervention that surprised most Italians who reacted by insulting ad vilifying Mr. Gere in all possible ways. This story may be highlighting a fatal flaw of democracy: once leaders discover that the nastier they are, the more they … Continue reading “What’s Happening in Italy? The Fatal Flaw of Democracy”

Why I went underground and how I am enjoying my subterranean life

Here is one of the windows of my new home. No, not the big one. Look at where my wife, Grazia, is pointing. Yes, that one!This summer in Florence we already had two vicious heat waves. As I am writing, we are in the middle of the third one, even more vicious. It has been, … Continue reading “Why I went underground and how I am enjoying my subterranean life”

Gaia Exists! Here is the Proof

Gaia is neither benevolent nor merciful. She is harsh and ruthless. Environmentalists are sometimes defined as “Gaia worshippers,” a term supposed to be an insult. That’s a little strange because most people on this planet openly worship non-existing entities and that doesn’t normally make them targets for insults. Maybe it is because there is an important … Continue reading “Gaia Exists! Here is the Proof”

The Brief Spring of Global Science: How Climate Science is Affected by Nationalism and Propaganda

The start screen of the “Climadrom” site, kept by Aleksander Zhabskiy. The site is strongly oriented toward rejecting the current scientific interpretation of climate change, labeled as “climate alarmism,” “hysteria,” and the like. This view seems to be fashionable in Russia in all sectors of society and, nowadays, Russian science seems to have rejected the … Continue reading “The Brief Spring of Global Science: How Climate Science is Affected by Nationalism and Propaganda”

The real reason why we didn’t go back to the Moon: The decline of spaceflight

Among the massive onslaught of fake news we are subjected to, a particularly obnoxious one is that the Moon landings never took place. It is not just a fashionable idiocy, it is a symptom that the whole Western society is rotting at the core. This week marks the 50th anniversary of the first landing of … Continue reading “The real reason why we didn’t go back to the Moon: The decline of spaceflight”

Can you imagine being a whale? A tale of empathy and communication

From left to right in the photo, Ishmael, Captain Ahab, and Captain Peleg. Actually, the top-hatted, harpoon-bearing person in the center is me (Ugo Bardi) giving a talk on sustainability in Bagnaia, Italy, on July 17, 2019. Near me, Albert Bates (right in the photo) and Simone (left in the photo — sorry that I … Continue reading “Can you imagine being a whale? A tale of empathy and communication”

A rare glimpse of what the members of the elite think: What are they going to do when things get really tough?

“A lot of these laws and regulations were designed back when the US had a finite amount of energy. Before the new technology was put into place.”  Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to the European Union, at the meeting titled “The Fight for EU Energy Security” held on April 11, 2019, in Brussels. Full video of … Continue reading “A rare glimpse of what the members of the elite think: What are they going to do when things get really tough?”

The First Recorded Ecological Collapse in History and How it Was Misunderstood.

Above, you see the Goddess Inanna in her full regalia as depicted on a Sumerian cylinder seal. On the left, Ninshubur (the Queen of the East) Inanna’s second in command. Inanna is sometimes called the “Goddess of Love,” but she was no gentle lady. She was known to tame lions, use weapons, fight her enemies … Continue reading “The First Recorded Ecological Collapse in History and How it Was Misunderstood.”

How We Keep Destroying the Things that Make us Live: The Biotic Pump and the Raw Power of Science

Dr. Anastassia Makarieva describes the concept of the “Biotic Pump” at the Smart Biotic Pump Summit Prague 2018 This is not an easy video to follow, but I thought to propose it to you nevertheless. Perhaps its most impressive feature is how it is not refined, it is not slick, it uses no tricks. It … Continue reading “How We Keep Destroying the Things that Make us Live: The Biotic Pump and the Raw Power of Science”

Did climate change cause the fall of the Roman Empire? No, but what may have actually happened is amazing.

“Vanity Fair” may not be the best source for reliable scientific information, but this cover is typical of an idea that’s becoming popular in the memesphere: that the Roman Empire fell because of climate change. Alas, this means stretching the data more than a bit. The Roman Empire did NOT fall because of climate change. … Continue reading “Did climate change cause the fall of the Roman Empire? No, but what may have actually happened is amazing.”

The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of Relocating

The experience of relocating is curiously similar to an archaeological excavation of the ruins of a disappeared empire. Above, you can see two jars filled with old coins recovered from the nook and crannies of my house after emptying it of everything. Mostly these are old Italian “lira” coins, others are foreign coins and, in … Continue reading “The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of Relocating”

The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of What we Keep in Our Homes

The experience of relocating is curiously similar to an archaeological excavation of the ruins of a disappeared empire. Above, you can see two jars filled with old coins recovered from the nook and crannies of my house after emptying it of everything. Mostly these are old Italian “lira” coins, others are foreign coins and, in … Continue reading “The Stuff of Our Lives: The Seneca Collapse of What we Keep in Our Homes”

The Boy who Cried Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act

The story of the boy who cried wolf too many times is a good way to illustrate our attitude toward the people who try to warn us about dangers ahead. Maybe it is about a wolf, or about climate change, the result is always the same: prophets of doom are not believed (and, sometimes, they … Continue reading “The Boy who Cried Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act”

The Boy who Called Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act

The story of the boy who cried wolf too many times is a good way to illustrate our attitude toward the people who try to warn us about dangers ahead. Maybe it is about a wolf, or about climate change, the result is always the same: prophets of doom are not believed (and, sometimes, they … Continue reading “The Boy who Called Wolf: A Bayesian Drama in One Act”

“The Seneca Strategy” — Asking for Suggestions from my Readers

About Amelia the Amoeba, she is a pedigreed Naegleria Fowleri, a species known for her habit of eating human brains – an interesting case of a Seneca Collapse for the owner of the brain. But Amelia is a good girl and she won’t do that to you if you are nice to her. My second … Continue reading ““The Seneca Strategy” — Asking for Suggestions from my Readers”

“The Seneca Strategy” — A Request for Help from my Readers

About Amelia the Amoeba, she is a pedigreed Nigelia Fowleri, a species known for her habit of eating human brains – an interesting case of a Seneca Collapse. But Amelia is a good girl and she won’t do that to you if you are nice to her. My second book on the concept of “Seneca … Continue reading ““The Seneca Strategy” — A Request for Help from my Readers”

The Second Babel Tower: Symphonic Music and the Collapse of the European Cultural Unity

This is EuropeThis is not Europe This is a reflection on how the breakdown of the Medieval cultural unity in Europe resulted in many different effects, from witch hunts to classical music. It came to me from putting together various elements of various talks heard at the excellent meeting “Colloqui di Martina Franca” held in … Continue reading “The Second Babel Tower: Symphonic Music and the Collapse of the European Cultural Unity”

Europe, Europe! The Dream Doesn’t Die.

This video exemplifies the problems the European Union has in managing its own image. It was produced in 2012 and then recalled after being widely labeled as “racist.” In some senses, it was, but it was also one of the very few attempts the Union made to present itself in ways that go beyond the … Continue reading “Europe, Europe! The Dream Doesn’t Die.”

Getting rid of Debt: How About Replacing Money with Social Credit?

Mark Twain had a genial idea with his story “The One Million Pound Bank Note” published in 1853. It was such a huge amount of money that it couldn’t be exchanged, yet it gave its owner all sorts of perks and goods. It was, in a certain way, an anticipation of what we call today … Continue reading “Getting rid of Debt: How About Replacing Money with Social Credit?”

A World With no Debt and no Bankruptcies: How About Social Credit as Money?

Mark Twain had a genial idea with his story “The One Million Pound Bank Note” published in 1853. It was such a huge amount of money that it couldn’t be exchanged, yet it gave its owner all sorts of perks and goods. It was, in a certain way, an anticipation of what we call today … Continue reading “A World With no Debt and no Bankruptcies: How About Social Credit as Money?”

Human Extinction: An Idea Whose Time had to Come.

A few years ago, a political movement that took the name of “extinction rebellion” would have been wholly unthinkable. On the other hand, after more than forty years of warnings on climate change and ecosystem collapse from the world’s best scientists, the message had to start going through, somehow. One consequence is the appearance on … Continue reading “Human Extinction: An Idea Whose Time had to Come.”

Are the Martyrs Coming Back? Julian Assange and the Fall of the Global Empire

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand (Matthew. 12:25)The more the current world drama unfolds, the more I am amazed by how closely we are following the path that the ancient Roman Empire … Continue reading “Are the Martyrs Coming Back? Julian Assange and the Fall of the Global Empire”

The Great Fossil Cycle and the Story of a Family

Last week, I published a post on how the economic decline of Italy led me to move to a smaller house, abandoning the mansion that my parents had built during better times. Complementing that post, I thought I could repropose a post I had published in 2017, reproduced here with some minor modifications. You can … Continue reading “The Great Fossil Cycle and the Story of a Family”

Climate Science Deniers Start Feeling the Heat. Now it is Foot-Dragging Time!

Greta Thunberg is both a cause and an effect in the great shift that’s ongoing in the public opinion about climate change. Climate science deniers are feeling the pressure and they are preparing to change their strategy. No more denying that AGW exists and that it is a danger for all of us. It is … Continue reading “Climate Science Deniers Start Feeling the Heat. Now it is Foot-Dragging Time!”

The Great Fossil Cycle and US: Story of a Family

Last week, I published a post on how the economic decline of Italy led me to move to a smaller house, abandoning the mansion that my parents had built during better times. Complementing that post, I thought I could repropose a post I had published in 2017, reproduced here with some minor modifications. You can … Continue reading “The Great Fossil Cycle and US: Story of a Family”

New Research Determines the Ultimate Limits of Renewable Energy: The Bardi Sphere

The future of the Earth as described in the new paper by Ugo Bardi. Image sourceA new paper by Ugo Bardi of the University of Florence is in press on the journal “Nature Energy Revolutions.” The study was performed with the support of a European financed project under the Horizon 25-25-25. Using sophisticated simulation tools … Continue reading “New Research Determines the Ultimate Limits of Renewable Energy: The Bardi Sphere”

Why worry about pollution if life expectancy keeps increasing? Ahem…. are you sure?

It seems clear that we won’t get to reach Methuselah’s age. In most Western countries, the average life expectancy has started decreasing from 2014 and we are, maybe, on the edge of a Seneca Cliff for longevity. It could be an effect of pollution, but not just that. Image source.If you ever got into a … Continue reading “Why worry about pollution if life expectancy keeps increasing? Ahem…. are you sure?”

When the Going gets Tough, Women get Going. “MIddle Ages 2.0” and the Great Transformation Awaiting us

In Europe, Greta Thunberg has smashed all the memetic barriers succeeding in doing what nobody else had succeeded before: bringing the climate emergency within the horizon of the public and of the decision makers. In parallel, on the other side of the Atlantic, another young woman, Alexandra Ocasio Cortez has been doing something similar with … Continue reading “When the Going gets Tough, Women get Going. “MIddle Ages 2.0” and the Great Transformation Awaiting us”

The Thunberg Effect Seems to be in Full Swing: Will it Last?

This young lady, Greta Thunberg, is breaking all the memetic barriers: the effect is weak but already evident. Most likely, we’ll see it growing in the coming days. It might be the start of an epochal change in the way the challenges ahead are perceived.On the other hand, expect a reaction from the Powers That … Continue reading “The Thunberg Effect Seems to be in Full Swing: Will it Last?”

The Cryptocurrency of the Middle Ages: Relics

I am re-proposing here a post that I published on “Insurge” about one year ago. It is part of the idea of rediscovering the European Middle Ages not as an age of Barbarism and decline, but as a period of intelligent adaptation to a dearth of resources. Our ancestors of those times faced the problem … Continue reading “The Cryptocurrency of the Middle Ages: Relics”

The real Energy Return of Crude Oil: smaller than you would have imagined

  A simple but important study by Luciano Celi shows what is the real energy return that oil companies manage to attain. Much smaller than you would have believed, in several cases it is today well below 10. Which means that renewable energies already produce a larger EROI than oil and gas. No more excuses … Continue reading “The real Energy Return of Crude Oil: smaller than you would have imagined”

What can we Learn From the Middle Ages About Collapse? The Great Challenge of the Seneca Bottleneck

The idea that a collapse is awaiting our civilization seems to be gaining ground, although it has not reached the mainstream debate. But no civilization before ours escaped collapse, so it makes sense to think that the entity we call “The West” is going to crash down, badly, in the future. Then, just as it … Continue reading “What can we Learn From the Middle Ages About Collapse? The Great Challenge of the Seneca Bottleneck”

What Will Climate Deniers say When the Climate Disaster Arrives?

Image from a fellow CassandraIt is all the fault of the scientists, they didn’t explain to us clearly enough what the problem was.I am sure you alarmists will take this as an excuse to raise new taxes.I couldn’t detect any sea level rise. It was the city that sank.Socialism is bad anyway.It is all a … Continue reading “What Will Climate Deniers say When the Climate Disaster Arrives?”

Winning the War of Climate Communication. Is Greta Thunberg the Memetic Weapon we Needed?

Who speaks on behalf of young people about climate? Greta Thunberg does. She is the embodiment of the concept that what matters in communication is not the message but the messenger. Only a believable messenger can pass a believable message. And she is believable: she has a direct stake on the issue, it is HER … Continue reading “Winning the War of Climate Communication. Is Greta Thunberg the Memetic Weapon we Needed?”

The Seneca Cliff According to H.P. Lovecraft

It is strange how sometimes fiction manages to catch human feelings and ideas in ways that are not easy to articulate in terms of facts and models. H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) has been one of the world masters of the horror genre, managing to flesh out some of our deep fears.We can read Lovecraft’s story “The … Continue reading “The Seneca Cliff According to H.P. Lovecraft”

And now we are Officially Starting to Slide Down the Seneca Cliff: The A380 Goes the way the Concorde Went

And there goes the A380, too. You would think that the European aerospace industry wouldn’t repeat the mistake they made with the Concorde, would they? But they managed not only to repeat it, but too make it bigger.At the time of the Concorde, everyone said that the future was with supersonic passenger planes. At the … Continue reading “And now we are Officially Starting to Slide Down the Seneca Cliff: The A380 Goes the way the Concorde Went”

What’s Emperor Trump Doing? He is Busy at Splitting the Empire in Two

Donald Trump seems to be doing what Roman Emperors like Diocletian, Constantine, and Theodosius did long ago: splitting the empire into two halves. Trump may not have consciously decided to do that, but an Empire can only be as large as it can afford to be and the American Empire can’t afford anymore to dominate … Continue reading “What’s Emperor Trump Doing? He is Busy at Splitting the Empire in Two”

The Sower’s Strategy: Norway Leads the Way Toward the Energy Transition

This is me, Ugo Bardi, in Oslo, February 2019. Norway is the country with the largest fraction of electric vehicles in the world. The Tesla in the background is not mine. I gave the name of “The Sower’s Strategy” or “The Sower’s Way” to the idea that we should use our remaining fossil resources to build … Continue reading “The Sower’s Strategy: Norway Leads the Way Toward the Energy Transition”

The Biodiesel Disaster: Why bad Ideas are Always so Successful?

This is a modified version of an article that was published on “Il Fatto Quotidiano” in Italian on Jan 31, 2019Behind the simian mask, there is yours truly, Ugo Bardi, sitting at his desk.  The sign is in Italian, but you can understand that it is against biodiesel and in favor of Orangutans. Sometimes it happens … Continue reading “The Biodiesel Disaster: Why bad Ideas are Always so Successful?”

Tolstoy on War: The Systemic Vision of a Tragedy

Leon Tolstoy set his novel, “War and Peace” (1867) during the Napoleonic invasion of Russia of 1812. But he had not witnessed that war — rather, Tolstoy had fought in another senseless and bloody war, the Crimean War (1853-1856), an experience that deeply influenced his thought. Tolstoy had a deep vision of the tragedy that … Continue reading “Tolstoy on War: The Systemic Vision of a Tragedy”